Review: The Forever Queen by Helen Hollick

by Helen Hollick

Release Date:  November 1, 2010
Sourcebooks Publishing

SYNOPSIS:  What kind of woman becomes the wife of two kings, and the mother of two more?

Saxon England, 1002. Not only is Æthelred a failure as King, but his young bride, Emma of Normandy, soon discovers he is even worse as a husband. When the Danish Vikings, led by Swein Forkbeard and his son, Cnut, cause a maelstrom of chaos, Emma, as Queen, must take control if the Kingdom-and her crown-are to be salvaged. Smarter than history remembers, and stronger than the foreign invaders who threaten England's shores, Emma risks everything on a gamble that could either fulfill her ambitions and dreams or destroy her completely.

Emma, the Queen of Saxon England, comes to life through the exquisite writing of Helen Hollick, who shows in this epic tale how one of the most compelling and vivid heroines in English history stood tall through a turbulent fifty-year reign of proud determination, tragic despair, and triumph over treachery.

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REVIEW: Helen Hollick brings the turbulent 11th century England to life like only she can!

Emma is 13 when she leaves her homeland in Normandy to wed the much older King Aethelred of England. Like most royal marriages, their union is one bred solely for matters of state. She arrives in a strange country, bewildered and timid and her husband’s court filled with hostile people who don’t speak her language. Though outwardly she seems young and unsure, people soon learn that Emma knows her mind and is quick to speak it.

Her marriage to Aethelred has proven just as disastrous as Aethelred’s reign and she can barely come to love him, let alone respect him. But she has come to love her adopted country and throughout her queenship England is under constant threat from the Vikings, led first by King Swein and then his son, Cnut.

What I loved most about this novel was Emma herself. Excuse my French, but she was a bad ass! She had more courage and intelligence to rival most of the men at court and definitely bucketfuls more than Aethelred. Emma was a woman who faced danger head on, choosing to die with honor rather than hide like a coward. And her pride was fierce!

The power of Helen Hollick’s novels is their way of sucking the reader in! There were several times while reading The Forever Queen where I gasped out loud or shook my head in disbelief or exasperation. You just get that wrapped up in the story. There’s nothing like a Hollick read to help you escape reality for a little while!

The Forever Queen is yet another mah-velous novel from Helen Hollick and one that any fan of the genre will enjoy!

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Check back tomorrow for my interview with Helen Hollick and a giveaway of 2 copies of The Forever Queen!!!

Yesterday began the Sourcebooks Fall Reading Club event for The Forever Queen, please check out the participating blogs:

November 1

November 2

November 3

November 4

November 5

November 8

November 9

November 10

November 11

November 12

November 15

November 16

November 17

November 18

November 19


FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for review from the publisher.



  1. This sounds really riveting. I had not heard of this queen at all so should love to read this book.

  2. I've been dying to read this book. So glad to hear that it's great.

  3. I LOVE this book, I just read it for the second time!

  4. Oh my get me in more trouble ;) You keep pulling me into more interested reads and I just can't keep up with you girl. Looking forward to hearing from the author and another great giveaway. Have a great day, fondly, Roberta

  5. Hihi bad ass, I read a book once about her and I have never managed to forget her. I am fascinated by her

  6. Great review, Amy! My copy of the novel arrived last week and I'm really looking forward to reading it.

  7. I love that she's no shy violet! I've heard great things about this book -- can't wait to read it!

  8. She sounds feisty! Should be a good read!

  9. Sounds like a good book. I always like a strong female character!

  10. I am excited about this book, it looks great! I have only experienced one Helen Hollick book, and loved it... really, I loved the book. I really need to read more books by her.

  11. These are historical figures I know little about. I can't wait to read this book. Thanks for the review.

  12. Didn't you want to ring Aethlered's neck?!


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